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Re: Tetra Web Site


>> For those not having the intensive time
or those who just don't want to spend it on taking care about plants
but who still want to have an aquarium, plastic plants are preferable
rather than ending up with an algae disaster and giving up the hobby.
Since they are not saying anything against us plant keepers, I do not
agree with you that their statement is dangerous or offensive, it's
rather true for many beginners. <<

Don't worry, no offense taken at all.  I probably did not write it as well as I
should have.  I find the offensive part to be the part about plants.  I think
that an aquarist who will not do any homework at all on their part before
setting up a tank is generally going to have a hard time, regardless of what
kind of tank.  I think however, and I "see" them everyday that there are a lot
of beginners out there who IMO do it right.  They learn first, ask questions,
and then and only then try and set anything up.  I believe that a person who
does this, beginner or not, can set up a planted tank as easily as anything.  So
that part I just found a offensive.  The dangerous part to me was where it said
a few fish (few being undefined and certainly in the eyes of the beholder) for
the first month and then whatever your dealer recommends.  There are excellent
stores out there with good solid knowledgeable owners and employees.  However, I
imagine a good many beginners start with chains like PetSmart, Pet Supermarket,
Walmart, and the like.  The employees they will be asking questions of have
never owned a tank and the only fish they see are at a restaurant when they look
at the menu.  To tell a beginner to do whatever their local shop suggest they do
is, to me, dangerous.    I've been to countless places, bet you have too, that's
advice is next to worthless or worse.  Should any beginner follow their

I also think many stores have really hurt the planted tank business (again there
are great stores there, so if anyone owns one of these this is not directed to
you).  For example when Claus was here we went by one of the local chain stores
(I think it would be terrible of me to give the name of the chain so I can't say
it was Pet Supermarket, so please don't ask. <g>) and I showed him the
incredible array of plants that were for sale.  Only one or two were aquatic or
even bog plants.  The rest, including a nice small palm tree, were terrestrial
plants.  An aquarist goes and buys the super special 10 gallon complete setup,
complete with one tiny light, puts in a ton of very expensive terrestrial
plants, they die, and hobbyist figures they have a black thumb and never tries
live plants again.  But these stores Tetra recommends you following their
advice?  Oh and just for grins I went to a LFS the other day.  In Florida
tropical plants generally are inexpensive.  They had in the aquatics plants
section a small peace lily for sale at the low discount price of only 10 bucks.
Same one I can buy anywhere for under a dollar.  Not sure how reasonable it
would be to follow their advice on anything.

I'm all for commerce, heck I make a living I can't be too dang hypocritical, but
it should not be done at the expense of those who are coming to you for advice.
If Tetra wants to have Golden Rules for an aquarist, I'm all for it, but then
they should recommend you buy a book and one of theirs would be fine, or give
some reasonable guidelines.

Me, heck I'd only have one golden rule.  Learn what you are doing before you do
it, ask, question, and observe first, not after the fact. <g>